How many years have you declared that this is it, the year you finally lose those extra pounds you’ve been carrying around once and for all? I hear this over and over again – from my patients, my family, my friends – I’ve even been there myself! For years, I repeatedly lost and regained the same ten pounds. I put myself on diet after diet, but none of them seemed to work long term. Most of the women I know are either currently or have recently been on a diet. Americans spend billions on weight loss programs and products that simply don’t do what we want them to. Why is it so difficult to take – and keep – these pesky pounds off?
For starters, the old “calories in, calories out” philosophy that’s been pushed on us for years is flawed. I’ve seen women relentlessly weighing every morsel they eat, obsessively counting calories, and putting themselves through rigorous exercise programs – but they still don’t lose any weight.
The good news is, there’s a better way to approach weight loss. But to succeed, you first need to move past your old ideas – like I did – and realize that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. It takes patience and persistence to find the right solution for you, but if you hang in there, I know it’s possible.
My solutions don’t require starving yourself, taking pills with unknown chemical ingredients, or any other gimmick. It’s all about finding balance, examining your overall health, and being open to a new way of thinking. But you don’t have to do it alone. I’ve been through it myself, and I’m here to help.
The first step is to dig deeper, and really find out why your body is hanging on to those extra pounds. Rest assured, I believe you are doing everything you’ve been told will help. It’s just not that simple. And regardless of what the ads might tell you, there is no magic solution that works for everyone.
Understanding what’s behind your struggles can help you find the approach that will work for your unique situation. So, let’s take a look at some of these factors, and what you can do to determine where your problems may lie.
Weight loss resistance
When I was 19, I thought Weight Watchers was the answer to my weight loss journey. I drove myself crazy measuring and weighing every bite I ate. I worked out religiously and never allowed myself to “cheat” with foods, but my weight wouldn’t budge. Some weeks, I even gained weight! I was so frustrated and felt completely alone – but I wasn’t. I discovered I had weight loss resistance, a metabolic imbalance that can block weight loss, no matter what you try.
If you resolve the imbalance, you can get rid of that stubborn weight once and for all. But first, you need to understand it! And it’s not the same for everyone. There are six major systemic imbalances that can inhibit weight loss: hormonal, adrenal, digestive, or neurotransmitter imbalance; improper detoxification; and systemic inflammation.
Because every woman is different, and so many things contribute to how these systems function, it can take some investigative work to determine the root cause of your specific issue. Wherever the imbalance is, it can wreak havoc on your overall health. Your major body systems are all intertwined, and if one is off, all of them can suffer.
Work with your healthcare practitioner to get required testing, and don’t give up! It can take some time to discover what’s behind your weight loss resistance, but I promise you it’s worth it!
While you probably know if you have a major food allergy, sensitivities are often much harder to notice. So many women have issues processing certain foods, and they don’t even know it. For me, it was gluten, but for you it could be something very different: dairy, sugar, soy, or even the way your body metabolizes fat.
A new book, The Personalized Diet, is garnering media attention right now by suggesting that testing your blood sugar after meals can help you determine which foods could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Authors Dr. Eran Segal and Dr. Eran Elinav, of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, assert that knowing which foods impact your blood sugar allows you to determine which foods are best to avoid when weight loss is the goal. Though their study is limited, it supports the notion that no “magic diet” will work for everyone.
While checking your blood sugar after every meal may not be practical for you, paying close attention to how you feel after eating can offer valuable insight into sensitivities you might have.
An elimination diet can be even more useful. Removing all foods most likely to cause reactions, then reintroducing them slowly, one at a time, allows you to really notice any physical reactions that occur. But if it feels too hard to cut out several things at once, start with just one – I suggest sugar first!
Pay close attention to nutrition
As I said before, counting calories isn’t the “quick-fix” solution it’s been made out to be. If you eat 1,200 calories in potato chips and cookies, the information your body receives is decidedly different than if you eat 1,200 calories of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. And if you’re stuffing yourself with junk food, it’s unlikely you’ll lose weight even if you’re exercising for an hour or two every day.
But that probably doesn’t come as a surprise; most of us already know that the kind of food we eat makes a difference. What you might not realize is that you can eat all the “right” foods, but if your body has a sensitivity to that food, you’re still sending the wrong messages to your essential systems, and you’re likely to experience both weight gain and ill health.
Still, eating as well as you can does matter. If you are giving your body good, solid nutrition it has a far better chance of weeding out those negative messages. So, what does good nutrition look like? Here’s a few tips to get you started.
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Vegetables and fruit, plant-based proteins like nuts and legumes, whole grains instead of refined flour or sugar, and high-quality fish and meat are the way to go. The less processing there is, the less likely it is that the food will cause a sensitivity in your body.
- Eat regularly. I suggest eating three balanced meals and two snacks per day. Make sure each includes high-quality protein. If you often eat while on-the-go, make sure you have some healthy options prepared. Cutting up fruits of vegetables makes them easy to grab and go. Nuts, cheese, or a nutrition rich snack bar like my Coconut Bliss Bars are also great options.
- Try intermittent fasting. Sometimes, we need a specific structure to help us break unhealthy eating habits. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that’s getting a lot of attention these days, and I am finding that patients who try it are seeing great success. The idea is that you go for at least 12 hours between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day. I’ve changed the way I eat to accommodate this by not eating an early breakfast, but instead having coffee with ghee to hold me over. But you could eat dinner at 6 pm, and still have breakfast at 6 am if that works better for you. It’s worked for me — since changing my habits to eat within a smaller window of time each day, I’ve lost more than 20 pounds. Even better, the benefits extend beyond weight loss with anti-aging results as well!
- Certain vitamins, like zinc, chromium, vitamin C, B vitamins and vitamin D are important for healthy metabolism. Be sure you are getting what you need by making a high-quality multivitamin/mineral complex, like my Multi Essentials, a part of your regular routine.
- Hydrate! Drinking plenty of filtered water is a great way to help your system flush toxins and keep you feeling great. Herbal tea and green tea are also good choices, but avoid soda or other sugary drinks, which can do more damage than good.
Find an exercise plan that’s right for YOU
So many women are told that to lose weight they have to join a gym or participate in aerobic exercise every day, but that’s just not true! Exercise contributes to weight loss and overall good health, but you don’t have to exhaust yourself to get the benefits.
My rule of thumb is that you should try to get some form of exercise four times per week. But just like with food, one type of exercise isn’t right for everyone.
It’s so important to move in ways you love! If you hate to run, forcing yourself to do likely won’t last more than a week or two. And there’s just no need to do something that makes you. Find ways to work exercise into your daily routine – biking or walking to work, perhaps – or carve out specific time where you can focus on exercise. Dance, hike, try weight training or yoga – whatever form of exercise works for you can make a big difference in your weight loss goals. And if you love what you’re doing, it won’t feel hard!
Don’t ignore emotional health
Many of the women I know have sabotaged their weight loss efforts by ignoring past and present emotions that impact the way they live. Often, they aren’t even aware that these emotions are at play. Emotional health can impact the way you eat, the support you seek, and so much more. When you take the time to really examine what’s going on inside, you can break through barriers that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
In my book, The Core Balance Diet, the chapter “Your Issues are in Your Tissues” details how we hold on to the past – physiologically. You have to be willing to peel back the layers and find out what old ideas – maybe even some that started before you were born – your body is storing.
It’s not unusual to discover that in your mind, food equals love, which could be why you turn to sweets or a childhood favorite when you’re feeling down. Time after time I’ve seen women with weight loss issues connected to childhood associations with food. When unhealthy links between food and love are reinforced over many years, it can actually change the neurochemistry of your brain.
I’ve heard so many women tell me that once they enlisted a friend to join them, they finally found success on their weight loss journey. Emotional support is vital to progress, and having someone to talk to about your triumphs – and your setbacks – can make all the difference.
When you are ready to really dive deep, there are many ways you can explore how your emotional history is impacting your life. Working with a professional therapist can be a great place to begin. I also often recommend the Quadrinity Process at the Hoffman Institute and tapping (also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques).
Find ways to reduce stress and restore peace for yourself
Don’t underestimate the negative impact stress has on your weight loss goals. Sometimes, eliminating one major stressor is all it takes for that weight to finally come off. For one patient, all it took was leaving a bad relationship. When she left her husband, who was not only unfaithful but also stealing money from her, she dropped 40 pounds without changing anything else. You can’t eliminate all of the stress in your life, but you can take the time to explore what’s really not working, and take steps towards changing it.
Even if there’s no major issue you can point to, the busy lives modern women lead offer little time for relaxation. And this can contribute to weight gain, even if you think you love your fast-paced lifestyle. Make sure you’re getting six to eight hours of sleep each night to help your body heal, and try to do one thing every day that helps you feel rested, relaxed and at peace.
Make this a year of permanent change
One thing I’ve learned in my decades of practice is that you can’t keep doing the same old things and expecting different results. Repeatedly trying and failing can send women into a downward spiral of self-loathing, and that’s no way to make a positive change! I know from personal experience that if you learn how to support your individual needs, there’s no reason you can’t find the success you desire.
Start by rejecting yo-yo dieting and “quick-fix” ideas. Be gentle with yourself as you begin the journey to deeper understanding. Setbacks may happen, but any step forward is progress. Celebrate your small successes, and stop believing that a number on a scale determines your self-worth. Embrace who you are right now, and you’ll find the strength and courage to dig deep and face your challenges head on. And when you have the right information and the right support to make necessary changes, I believe you’ll find that your weight will take care of itself!
Support to get you started
Changing habits is always tricky, and I offer some specially formulated products perfect for starting you off on your weight loss journey. In my decades of clinical practice, I have seen firsthand what type of support works best – and I’ve guided hundreds of patients through their own weight loss programs with great success. It’s important to remember that when trying to lose weight, balanced nutrients are more important than ever. Here are some products that can help get you off on the right foot:
- Weight Loss Support Formula. Developed to help my patients lose weight in a healthy way, this endocrine-balancing formula keeps insulin, leptin and cortisol functioning as they should to support weight loss and development of lean body mass. Nutrients were intentionally selected for their qualities which promote weight loss, including stimulating metabolism, natural appetite suppressant, balancing blood sugar and insulin, and calming the nervous system.
- Protein Shakes. I offer both whey protein shakes and a vegan shake made from pea protein, both designed to help decrease sugar cravings and jump start weight loss. These shakes provide ideal nutritional support ideally suited to promote lean muscle mass.
- Because I know that sugar cravings are hard to kick, I designed these bars to give you that something sweet without all the terrible side effects. Sweetened with xylitol, these bars, available in Purely Paleo Chocolate or Coconut Bliss flavors, really satisfy a sweet tooth. Often, just one bite is all you need. I like to pop them in the freezer and break off a small section as needed.
Slow and steady is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. And you aren’t alone on this journey – I’m here to help! If you need more support, schedule an appointment at the Women to Women Health Care clinic, where I can personally support you in finding what works. If you aren’t located near the clinic, check out my health library, where you’ll find plenty of tips and practical suggestions. If you have questions about our Weight Loss Support Formula or other products, don’t hesitate to call customer service here in Yarmouth, Maine at 888-303-8846.